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Warning over threat to cancer patient centre

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By Fiona Reid
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Warning over threat to cancer patient centre

CANCER patients in the region could face changes when travelling away for treatment — under plans revealed by NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

Patients from the region currently stay at Pentland Lodge while receiving radiotherapy at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.
But suggesting the facility might be set to close, a report at a meeting of the local health board said: “The proposed use of Pentland Lodge . . . is likely by late 2017.
“Accommodation at Pentland Lodge is provided over a number of consecutive weekdays during treatment and therefore ameliorates the need for parents undergoing radiotherapy to travel to and from Edinburgh on a daily basis from their home.”
And suggesting hotels might be necessary as an alternative, it added: “It is probable that hotel accommodation will need to be provided and a viable funding source is yet to be identified.”
Radiotherapy treatment can result in fatigue and weakness.
And the 14-bed Pentland Lodge which forms part of the Western General can provide a place to recover, with patients referred by a consultant able to stay overnight — and family members welcome during the daytime.
Dumfriesshire Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell said: “Pentland Lodge is a hugely important medical facility that is used by many people across Dumfries and Galloway.
“I know that many locals have appreciated being able to receive treatment without having to be admitted to a ward, which can be a huge comfort at what is a distressing time.”
He added: “To shut it would therefore be totally short-sighted and would ignore the views of the patients from our region who have used it over the years.”
Addressing the short-term future for Pentland Lodge, an NHS Lothian spokesperson has said: “We are looking at a number of projects as part of plans to maintain the quality of service for our cancer patients, and this includes the longer term redesign of the Edinburgh Cancer Centre.
“These are at a very early stage and no decisions have been taken with regards to the future of Pentland Lodge.”
Meanwhile, NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “We are not aware of any decision on the future of Pentland Lodge but will put in place alternative accommodation requirements if that facility becomes unavailable.”

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